Featured News



How do soybean cyst nematodes impact yield?

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off

Each year soybean cyst nematodes rob millions of dollars of income from soybean farmers due to lost yield. To add insult to injury, the impact to the crop cannot typically be seen until harvest. It is likely that above ground SNC stress symptoms may never be noticed. The best way to minimize SCN impact is by planting resistant varieties, or varieties with multiple resistances.

The SCN lifecycle is very interesting.

“The nematode overwinters as eggs,” said Horacio Lopez Nicora, assistant professor in plant pathology at The Ohio State University. “It will remain in the soil enclosed in the SCN female nematode body — which we call a cyst — until it hatches into a second stage juvenile. That is the only infective stage of the entire life cycle of the nematode. It is the only stage that the nematode can penetrate into a root of a soybean plant.”

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Message from the Ohio FFA President

By Jake Zajkowski, 2021-2022 State President Ohio FFA Association 

I am ready to enter into an exciting year of achievement, memories and new opportunities for every member of Ohio FFA. 

We started this school year strongly built on the resiliency of virtual events and local programming. We quickly got back into engaging our membership in-person at Career Development Events (CDEs), National Convention and leadership conferences touching the interests of everyone. 

2021 has opened the door for us to realize the contribution of our 25,000 members in Ohio. Those contributions make clear impacts on our agricultural workforce, communities and fellow students in high school who have made this year a success. 

Those efforts were recognized in Indianapolis this past October at the 94th National FFA Convention and Expo. Ohio left with 449 American Degrees, setting a standard for our members’ dedication to our organization. Degree receipts were not the only members representing Ohio at convention.… Continue reading

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Farmers are key to successful federal environmental mitigation efforts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should look to farmers as it works to mitigate pesticide issues, a corn grower told members of a federal interagency working group (IWG). 

“We respect EPA’s responsibility in protecting the environment, including endangered species,” said Patty Mann, a corn, soybean and wheat farmer from Jackson Center, Ohio. “We ask that the agency work closely with growers, the ones who often know the land the best, in developing and enacting mitigation measures.” 

Mann’s remarks were made to the IWG, which is composed of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. The IWG was established under the 2018 farm bill to identify and implement improvements to the federal government’s pesticide consultation process.

Mann, who has worked with the National Corn Growers and Ohio Corn and Wheat on these issues, cautioned the group against imposing a one-size-fits-all approach to these efforts.… Continue reading

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Bazooka Farmstar announces new agitation solution

At the 2022 Iowa Pork Congress Bazooka Farmstar announced the release of and showcased its latest addition to their agitation product category: the Renegade agitation trailer.

Over the last 45+ years, the manure handling equipment manufacturer has been recognized primarily for delivering progressive solutions to the marketplace, specifically for the injection segment of the manure management process. Bazooka Farmstar has recently and proudly introduced its newest product category within the agitation segment. The first product introduced in the category was their dual articulating propeller-based Wolverine Series agitation boat that quickly gained industry acceptance. The manufacturer is confident the Renegade agitation trailer will follow suit from the positive performance remarks they have received from their early adopters. 

The Renegade has been designed in collaboration with experienced end-users to provide an agitation solution that is efficient and overall easy to use. This trailer-bound agitation solution is compact, making transport and set up on the job site quick and simple.… Continue reading

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USDA announces Conservation Reserve Program signups for 2022

Agricultural producers and landowners can sign up soon for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a cornerstone conservation program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and a key tool in the Biden-Harris Administration effort to address climate change and achieve other natural resource benefits. The General CRP signup will run from Jan. 31 to March 11, and the Grassland CRP signup will run from April 4 to May 13. 

“We highly encourage farmers, ranchers and private landowners to consider the enrollment options available through CRP,” said Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “Last year, we rolled out a better, bolder program, and we highly encourage you to consider its higher payment rates and other incentives. CRP is another way that we’re putting producers and landowners at the center of climate-smart solutions that generate revenue and benefit our planet.”  

Producers and landowners enrolled 4.6 million acres into CRP signups in 2021, including 2.5 million acres in the largest Grassland CRP signup in history. There are currently 22.1 million acres enrolled, and FSA is aiming to reach the 25.5-million-acre cap statutorily set for fiscal year 2022. … Continue reading

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Farmers pushing back on fertilizer prices

By Matt Reese

In the place of yield records, new local equipment purchases and who-bought-what-farm around the corner, conversations between farmers this winter are instead largely focused on skyrocketing fertilizer costs. 

“The coffee shop talk around the neighborhood is different every year. Farmers always seems to have something to yelp about a little bit. This year it is definitely fertilizer. The last couple of years we have seen moderate, manageable prices for fertilizer. Then all of the sudden we see some increases in commodity prices and boom — we shouldn’t have been surprised — we have some crazy increases in input prices. The alarming part is how drastic of an increase we saw and the reasoning behind it,” said Ben Klick, who raises crops and cattle in Stark County and serves as president of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. “Our dry fertilizer prices have gone up, same with liquid, and the availability is going to be quite interesting too going into this spring.… Continue reading

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Ohio Weed University

By John BarkerMark LouxTony Nye, Ohio State University Extension

Are you concerned about the effectiveness of your herbicide program? Want to sharpen your weed id skills?  Not sure which nozzles provide the best control options? Is herbicide resistance REALLY that big of a problem? 

Are you concerned about palmer amaranth? Did you know that palmer amaranth, waterhemp and other invasive weeds can now be found in most Ohio counties? One female palmer amaranth plant can produce 1 million seeds.  I have it … now how do I control it?  How did I get it, how is it spread?  These issues will be discussed at the 2022 Ohio Weed University.

This high-impact program is designed for producers wanting to be on the cutting edge of crop production for their operations. Topics include: local weed populations and late season weed issues; hot topics in weed control; weed biology and control strategies;           

cover crop management in forages; and evaluating your herbicide program.… Continue reading

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Archuleta talking soil health in Logan County Feb. 24

Through the generous donation from a friend of Logan County Land Trust, nationally known speaker and conservationist Ray Archuleta will be visiting Logan County Feb. 24,  2022.

Archuleta will be speaking about soil health three times during the day at events including:

• The Conservation Tillage Breakfast at the Plaza Inn, Mt. Victory from 7:30 to 9 a.m. (RSVP with Mark Badertscher at 419-767-6037 or badertscher.4@osu.edu)

• Benjamin Logan HS auditorium at 12:30 for a 1-hour presentation (contact Bob Stoll to RSVP at 937-935-7505 or email bob.stoll5@gmail.com

• West Liberty High School cafetorium at 5:30 p.m. (cost is $20 and includes dinner, RSVP by Feb. 21 at go.osu.edu/Archuleta). 

The presentations have direct impact in protecting ground water resources which are long term benefits to the community.  … Continue reading

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2022 Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council Conference

The Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council Annual Conference will be held in-person on Feb. 18, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Beck’s Hybrids at 720 US 40 NE, London. The program theme is “Foraging for profit.” All Ohioans involved in forage production and feeding are invited to attend.

            The keynote speakers will be Greg Braun, Victor Shelton and Bob Hendershot. All three are retired NRCS Grassland Conservationists from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio respectively. The program is being sponsored by the Logan County Land Trust with generous support from the James Forsythe Milroy Foundation. 

            Additional featured speakers include Marilia Chiavegato, assistant professor at Ohio State University and two of her students, Ricardo Ribeiro and Marina Miquilini, who will provide a University Forage Research Update. Several producer talks will also be presented including hay producer, Glen Courtright from South Charleston; dairy producer, Jason Hartschuh from Sycamore; and sheep and goat producer, Shawn Ray from Cumberland.… Continue reading

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OABA Industry Conference highlights award winners

The 2022 Ohio AgriBusiness Association Industry Conference is underway and members from around the state heard a wide array of diverse presentations. 

In addition, OABA presented 2022 Industry Excellence Awards:

  • 2022 Excellence in Customer Service — Holly Cotter, Centerra Co-op  
  • 2022 Achievement as an Emerging Leader — Brian Spangler, Centerra Co-op  
  • 2022 Excellence in Safety & Stewardship — Tim Flock, Central Ohio Farmers Co-op, Inc.

Winners received a plaque and $1,000 cash award, sponsored by Assured Partners — J.H. Ward Agency. OABA has a distinguished history of serving the agricultural industry and its members through advocacy, policy leadership and educational programs. The Industry Excellence Awards honor excellence, professionalism and achievement among OABA member companies and their employees, and thereby encourage that same excellence in others.

“Now more than ever, it is important to take time to recognize outstanding individuals in our industry,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “These leaders set a high standard that agribusiness employees across all levels should aspire to achieve.” … Continue reading

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January advocacy

By Matt Reese

My 4-year-old nephew Michael is well versed in the subtleties of personal advocacy. On a recent stay at his grandparents, Michael had apparently seen evidence of the need for his grandfather to deposit some checks at the bank in the near future. He asked his grandpa if he needed to make a trip to the bank that day with the checks. Delighted with the opportunity to enjoy the company of his grandson on a mundane trip into town, grandpa of course complied with the request. While it is certain that Michael enjoyed the time with his grandfather, he expressed no hesitation whatsoever in his hasty acceptance of the sucker offered up by the bank’s drive-through teller. 

The world is full of people who see problems and complain about them to no avail. Michael saw a problem: no sucker. He took the steps necessary to actually amend the problem.… Continue reading

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How a range-bound market left me with sales above the current market value

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

There is a big focus right now on Argentina’s weather and crop development. Half of their corn was planted early and damaged by the recent dry weather. The other half was planted in the last month and has been followed by some rain this past week, which has helped crop growth. Moving forward, Argentina’s weather in February will dictate price direction on futures until Brazil’s second corn crop takes center stage in April and May.

Earlier this month a large bank issued a statement suggesting commodities (i.e., energy, metals, currency, livestock, and grains) were a good buy for this upcoming year. It seems that since early January a lot of money has been pushed into the market. This may be a big reason why the grain markets have been rallying so much so quickly.

Market action

As I shared previously, I have been making straddle trades to help increase my price on some of my 2021 corn.… Continue reading

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Tips for reducing fertilizer costs

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Farmers are re-evaluating their fertilizer application due to high fertilizer prices. Farmers who regularly applied fertilizer may not need as much or any additional fertilizer if their soil tests are optimal; especially for lime, phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Most agricultural clay-based soils have around a ton of P and perhaps 40 tons of soil K. Applying high priced fertilizer when it may not be needed is not a good investment.

Soil testing is a good investment for both rented and owned cropland.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Soil tests are accurate for 3 years, but knowing what fields need fertilizer is the most important. Fields that are nutrient low should be prioritized over high or optimal fields, especially if fertilizer dollars are limited. Without recent soil tests, farmers are just guessing their crop’s nutrient needs. Soil samples are usually taken in the fall or early spring.

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Prop 12 delayed

Sacramento County Superior Court ruled to delay enforcement of Proposition 12 for pork retailers, including grocers.

With the approval of Proposition 12 in November of 2018, California voters approved a ballot measure changing production standards for meat, this time not just for the few remaining sow operations in the state, but for pork sold in the state. The proposition prohibits the sale of any uncooked pork in the state not meeting the new set of production standards spelled out in Proposition 12, whether raised there or outside its borders. The deadline was Jan. 1, 2022.

“AFBF is pleased the Sacramento County Superior Court recognized that the state of California has rushed implementation of Proposition 12 without clear rules on how it will be enforced. California voters were told the law would improve animal welfare and food safety, but it fails to accomplish either of those goals,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president.… Continue reading

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OSHA withdraws vaccine mandate

On Jan. 25, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration withdrew its emergency vaccine mandate order for businesses with 100 or more employees that was issued on Nov. 5, 2021. 

“Our case was about the limits of power, not about the vaccine. Today, the President of the United States bowed to the rule of law, even if it was forced upon him,” said Dave Yost, Ohio Attorney General. “It will not be the last time.”

Yost led a coalition of 27 attorneys general in seeking an immediate stay of the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate issued by OSHA. The decision to withdraw by OSHA follows a decision earlier this month by the United States Supreme Court to uphold Yost’s request for a stay of the vaccine mandate. … Continue reading

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2021 Crop Tour: How’d we do?

By Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, Ohio’s 2021 average corn yield was 193 bushels per acre, up 22 bushels from 2020. Ohio’s average soybean yield for 2021 was 56.5 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from 2020. Growers harvested 4.88 million acres, down 1% from 2020. Production, at 276 million bushels, was up 2% from 2020.

Our corn yield estimates made back in August, by in large, were on the low side of yields when compared to the actual yields harvested from the fields. On the in-person leg of the 2021 Ohio Crop Tour we had one group collect samples in 12 counties in northern Ohio and another group collect samples in southern Ohio. In addition, we had nearly 60 entries from around the state in our Virtual Crop Tour for corn and soybeans. Many of these samples were provided with cooperation from Ohio State University Extension educators.… Continue reading

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OSU Extension ARC/PLC Program election decision tool

By Chris Zoller, Extension Educator, ANR, Tuscarawas County

The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill. Producers must enroll in ARC/PLC for the 2022 crop year through their local Farm Service Agency office. The signup period for the 2022 crop year is open now, and the deadline to enroll and make amendments to program elections is March 15, 2022.

If changes are not made by March 15, 2022 deadline, the election defaults to the programs selected for the 2021 crop year with no penalty.

ARC/PLC program options

Producers again have the option to enroll covered commodities in either ARC-County, ARC-Individual, or PLC. Program elections are made on a crop-by-crop basis unless selecting ARC-Individual where all crops under that FSA Farm Number fall under that program. ARC program payments are made when crop revenue falls below a guaranteed level, while PLC payments are made when a crops specific effective price is lower than its reference price.… Continue reading

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Supreme Court to hear Waters of the U.S. case

The U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear a case involving “waters of the United States.”
The case stems from a 2004 order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stopping Michael and Chantell Sackett from building on their Idaho land because of the presence of “wetlands.” The Supreme Court is being asked to clarify EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.


“AFBF is pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the important issue of what constitutes ‘Waters of the U.S.’ under the Clean Water Act. Farmers and ranchers share the goal of protecting the resources they’re entrusted with, but they shouldn’t need a team of lawyers to farm their land. We hope this case will bring more clarity to water regulations,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “In light of today’s decision, we call on EPA to push pause on its plan to write a new WOTUS rule until it has more guidance on which waters fall under federal jurisdiction.”… Continue reading

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Winter markets

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

March 2022 CBOT soybean price activity since Oct. 1 has seen a huge range of $2.22. The March soybean low during the fall was early November when they reached $11.93. They rallied to $14.15, closing up 23 cents on Jan. 7, just days before the Jan. 12 USDA Report Day. The close on Jan. 7 marked the first time the March 2022 CBOT soybeans had crossed the $14 threshold since June 11. The price run up was a result of prolonged dry weather concerns in both southern Brazil and northern Argentina. The weather premium was quickly extracted in the week which followed Jan. 7, when forecasts finally changed with numerous rains moving through the drought parched regions of Brazil and Argentina.

Jan. 12 USDA report day 

The January report day is often called one of the most important report days for the entire year. It is a big deal because the final U.S.… Continue reading

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